When her Las Vegas residency begins at the end of the month, Britney Spears should probably stay away from the roulette wheel, because numbers are not her friend at the moment.
Spears’ new album Britney Jean arrived this week, moving only 107,000 copies for a fourth-place finish on the Billboard 200. It’s the weakest opening week in Spears’ career, both by hard sales numbers and chart position (previously, her slowest sales week was the opening frame of her debut …Baby One More Time, which tallied 121,000 copies).
The numbers for Britney Jean are also a giant drop-off from the opening week of her previous album, 2011’s Femme Fatale, which sold 276,000 copies in its first week. It’ll be interesting to track Britney Jean moving into 2014, as she may get a bump from the just-released video for the single “Perfume” and another once her Vegas show gets rolling.
Britney had to dive out of the way of Garth Brooks, whose Blame It On My Roots: Five Decades of Influences took the number one spot on the chart this week. In its second full week of release, the WalMart-exclusive box set (containing six CDs, two DVDs, and retailing for around 25 bucks) sold 146,000 copies. Brooks is now tied for fourth place all-time for number one albums with nine (same as Barbra Streisand and the Rolling Stones). He trails the Beatles (19), Jay Z (13), Bruce Springsteen and Elvis Presley (both with 10). Expect Blame It On My Roots to stay strong during the holiday season.
Speaking of the holiday season, Christmas releases continue to rack up big numbers. Kelly Clarkson’s Wrapped in Red had another big week, coming in at number three on the chart with 112,000 copies sold. It’s looking more and more like Clarkson’s album may end up being a perennial champ, like Mariah Carey’s Merry Christmas (which still does big numbers every December). Clarkson is joined by four other holiday-related releases in the top 10: Duck The Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas (number five, 105,000 sold), Pentatonix’s PTXmas (number seven, 60,000), Michael Bublé’s Christmas (number eight, 57,000; another perennial juggernaut), and Mary J. Blige’s A Mary Christmas (number 10, 51,000).
Two non-Christmas releases remain strong in the top 10. Last week’s number one, One Direction’s Midnight Memories, had a very solid second week, claiming the number two slot on the chart with 117,000 copies sold. Meanwhile, Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP 2 falls in at number six this week with 84,000.